Paganicon was held this past weekend, March 25-27, 2011, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was leery of going, because I’m horrible around new people, but I was excited to meet with people that thought and believed similarly to myself.
The Pagan community there, as I’m beginning to find out, is not only vast, but active. They hold gatherings, walks, rituals, you name it, they probably have it. Activity is supported by shops and various practitioners, too. And the great part, in my opinion, is the range of experience. I met people who started on their path more than 30 years ago, as well as newbies like myself, who had been searching for the past year or so. To call the Twin Cities a vibrant Pagan community is like saying the sun is warm.
Everyone was very welcoming. I was very impressed by the acceptance of everyone, no matter what their path or beliefs. There were classes or sessions on just about every aspect of Paganism, and in every one of them that I was in, each person was respectful of the thoughts being spoken. There were lively conversations and exchanges of ideas, many of which I had never heard.
Just a sampling of classes that were offered:
Working with Tree Energy
Rites of Passage
Lost Gods of the Witches
Pagan Leadership & Community Building
One of the things that impressed me was the keynote speaker, John Michael Greer. He is an author of several books, a Freemason, the current Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, as well as an engaging speaker. Overall, he was a wonderful man who loved to sit down and kibitz on a wide variety of topics and was very pleased to do so. Mr. Greer answered several questions for me about something my grandfather was involved in years ago. He was an amazing soul to be around.
Now that I’ve talked it up so much, were there any drawbacks? Anything that made my shy away? The only thing that I can honestly say was a drawback was time. There wasn’t enough time in the day or time in the conference to talk to everyone and do everything. The entire weekend was packed full of interesting topics, wonderful people, and great company.
To top of an amazing weekend, the President of the event found out last year that she was pregnant. We found out Sunday as the conference was drawing to a close that she was in labor and at the hospital. I wish her and her family great blessings with her new little one!
If you get the chance next spring, I would whole heartedly recommend attending. Information on the Twin Cities Pagan Pride is available at http://tcpaganpride.org/info/.